Spring cleaning, I mean clipping

Freedom clippedI waited until we’d had a good stretch of warm weather to remove a layer of Freedom’s fuzz. Getting Freedom and me ready for hunting (which starts in less than three weeks!) requires some conditioning rides and the extra insulation was causing him to overheat.

Compared to the other horses at the barn, Freedom grows a modest winter coat. Much of his lather comes from excitement rather than lack of fitness. But it doesn’t make it any easier to cool him out.

A horse’s winter coat includes two types of hair: the shorter undercoat is made of fluffy, denser hair that keeps your horse warm and the longer guard hairs protect that under coat from dirt and excessive moisture.

As days get longer and warmer, your horse starts to shed out his winter coat — but sometimes it can’t keep pace with the temperatures. Grooming helps a horse shed out. Rubber curry combs, shedding blades and pumice stones can all encourage quicker shedding provided you apply sufficient elbow grease.

However the easiest way to help your horse cool down is to break out the clippers. While many people think of clipping as something to do only in the winter, there’s no reason not to clip in the spring. There’s no truth to the myth that clipping your horse will ruin his summer coat. It will grow back and look just fine.

Of course, as is always the case, as soon as I clipped him, it snowed.

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